UPDATE: Missing NFL player's wife files for death certificate

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Cooper's wife seeks death certificate - The wife of Marquis Cooper is seeking a presumptive death certificate one week after the Coast Guard called off its search for the missing boater and two friends.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- The wife of NFL player Marquis Cooper is seeking a presumptive death certificate a week after the Coast Guard called off its search for Cooper and two friends following a boating mishap.

Rebekah Cooper filed a petition for the certificate in civil court in Florida.

Cooper -- an Oakland Raiders linebacker who was the son of Phoenix TV sports anchor Bruce Cooper -- departed from Clearwater Pass, Fla., in his 21-foot boat with three buddies on Feb. 28.

Their boat overturned after encountering rough waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Two days later, one of the men, Nick Schuyler, was found clinging to the boat. The other men haven't been found.

With the presumptive death certificate, Cooper's beneficiaries can collect life insurance and other benefits.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

UPDATE: 3/6 @ 11 a.m.: Missing football player's father calls off search

PHOENIX -- Bruce Cooper, the father of Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, has called off the private search for his son.

In a released statement, Cooper thanked everyone for their well-wishes, prayers and volunteer efforts. He said the family is in the process of healing.

Cooper said the family has decided to forgo a memorial service and asks that Marquis be memorialized in your hearts and thoughts.

to read the entire statement.

UPDATE: 3/3 @ 2:19pm

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- The Coast Guard says it is suspending at sundown the search for two NFL players and another man whose boat capsized off Florida's Gulf Coast.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday it doesn't believe anyone is on the surface of the water.

Crews had narrowed their search for Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith and former University of South Florida player William Bleakley after finding a survivor Monday.

Former South Florida player Nick Schuyler was found clutching to the boat's hull. Schuyler told the Coast Guard that the boat was anchored when it capsized Saturday in high seas.

UPDATE: 3/3 @ 10:15 a.m.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The father of an NFL player among three men lost at sea says the Coast Guard's hopes are waning of finding survivors off the Florida Gulf Coast.

Bruce Cooper says he still has hope. But the Coast Guard told families privately that officials weren't optimistic because of the timeframe and possibility of hypothermia.

Cooper's son is Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper. The search for him, free-agent lineman Corey Smith and former college player William Bleakley entered its third day Tuesday.

The Coast Guard wouldn't publicly say whether they thought the men were still alive.

But officials did say the search was aided by information from Nick Schuyler, who was rescued Monday clutching the boat's hull. Schuyler says the men put on life vests after the boat overturned Saturday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

UPDATE: 3/2 @ 2 p.m.

TAMPA - The Coast Guard says it has narrowed the search area for two NFL players and another man whose overturned boat was found off the Florida Gulf Coast.

Coast Guard Capt. Timothy Close says the search area is "substantially smaller," based on where they found the boat and a survivor Monday. Searchers had previously covered 16,000 square miles.

Nick Schuyler was clinging to the boat about 35 miles off Clearwater. The former University of South Florida player told rescuers that the boat was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas.

He says the others aboard got separated from the boat.

The boat belongs to Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper. He, free-agent defensive lineman Corey Smith and former South Florida player William Bleakley remained missing.

UPDATE: Monday, March 2

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Coast Guard says it has searched 16,000 square miles of water off Florida's Gulf Coast but there is still no sign of a fishing boat carrying two NFL players and two other men.

The NFL players, Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper, left on a fishing trip early Saturday and were expected home by early evening. One of the men's relatives reported them missing Sunday, and the Coast Guard began the search.

Officials said Monday that high seas and strong winds had calmed some, but the conditions are still hampering the search.

Cooper is an Oakland Raiders linebacker. Smith is a Detroit Lions free-agent defensive end. The other men on board, William Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, are former University of South Florida players.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

ORIGINAL STORY

GILBERT - An NFL player and Valley native has gone missing off the coast of Florida.

Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper and three other men took off on a fishing trip Saturday morning from a town called Clearwater Pass. They have not returned to port.

The 26-year-old was born and raised in Gilbert and went to Highland High School. His father is Bruce Cooper, a longtime sports anchor at channel 12.

Cooper went fishing early Saturday morning with Corey Smith, another NFL player, and two other men who are both former football players.

They are all still missing along with their boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Marquis Cooper's truck and boat trailer sat empty at the dock Sunday afternoon.

Worried family members of other men on board waited at the boat ramp for word from the U.S. Coast Guard. The men went in a 21-foot fishing boat with a solid safety record.

Coast Guard search crews are using computer software. Cooper, #58, used to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and just finished the season with the Oakland Raiders.

Family members say he and his friends fished the Florida coast frequently. The weather is slowing the search a little and the water is choppy. It is also windy in the gulf.

The search will continue through the night.